Ted White is President and CEO of Verrica Pharmaceuticals, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company. Headquartered in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Verrica is committed to the development and commercialization of novel medical dermatology treatments. The company is currently developing its lead product candidate, VP-102, for the treatment of two diseases: 1. molluscum contagiosum, a highly contagious viral skin infection that affects approximately six million people, primarily children, in the United States; and 2. common warts.
EDWIN WARFIELD: Can you give us an overview of your company and lead product candidate? What is Verrica focused on treating?
TED WHITE: Our focus is strictly in medical dermatology. We’re addressing two of the largest unmet needs in medical dermatology. The first one is molluscum contagiosum, which is a viral skin disease that’s highly contagious and primarily affects children ages 2 to 14, although adults can get it. There are no FDA-approved therapies for it. Our second indication would be in the area of common warts, where the prevalence in the US is 22 million patients. There are no FDA-approved therapies for that either.
With both of these dermatological conditions the challenges with destructive therapy such as cryotherapy and curettage are twofold. Number one, it causes pain. Imagine a 4-year-old, a 5-year-old, on a table getting 20-30 lesions frozen—they can’t tolerate the pain. Two, there’s the potential for scarring, which both curettage and cryotherapy can cause.
Q. Tell us about your background. What led to you becoming President and CEO at Verrica?
A. Prior to joining Verrica Pharmaceuticals, I spent 22 years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals in a series of leadership roles, started my career in sales and worked my way up through the organization. And then from Novartis, I was recruited by a private equity firm out of Chicago called Roundtable Healthcare, which recruited me to go to a company called Aqua Pharmaceuticals which was a medical dermatology company based in West Chester. I joined the organization at Aqua as Vice President of Sales, then quickly became the Chief Operating Officer and eventually President and General Manager. We sold the business to Almirall, a company based in Barcelona, Spain. In December of 2017, I became the President and CEO of Verrica Pharmaceuticals.
Q. The company went public not too long ago. How did that process go, and what are some of the big challenges you now face?
Verrica recently IPO’d back on June 14, 2017. We raised $86 million. We priced at the midpoint at $15. The banks that took us out—the lead-left was Bank of America, followed by Jeffries and Callan.
The biggest challenge of running a public company is ensuring that you’re returning shareholder value, making sure you’re communicating with institutional investors, making sure that you’re speaking to your analysts to make sure that they have all the right coverage of all of the company catalysts that are occurring.
Connect with Ted on LinkedIn.